Welcome To 2017, When NFL Players Kneel While The Rest Of Us Pay Respect To Our Soldiers

Welcome To 2017, When NFL Players Kneel While The Rest Of Us Pay Respect To Our Soldiers

When does it become abuse of the 1st amendment? Can it be taken too far?

Welcome to 2017, where the 1st amendment is abused every single day by "fellow" Americans. Can freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly be taken too far? What is the law? What does it mean to be an American?

What is freedom of speech? Definitionally, freedom of speech is "the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint." When does it become slander? Where is the line drawn? According to The Inside Counsel magazine, in order to accuse someone of slander, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the statement was false, the person who made the comment was doing it to cause harm in some way and that no research was done in order to make an accusation like they did.

With that being said, where does it become serious enough to turn someone in to the police?

What about freedom of religion? For those of you who don't know, that means you can choose any religion and worship freely without any interference by the government. Again, I must ask where do we draw the line? What if you walked into Subway and a Muslim boy was working, but you wanted a bacon sub? Imagine this is your 30-minute break and you don't have time to go anywhere else, but he refuses to make your sub because in his strict religion handling pork isn't acceptable. So you leave to finish the rest of your shift without food for the day. If the customer calls and complains, is it OK to fire that young man? Or is it his right to do this?

Freedom of press, similar to freedom of speech is being able to write opinions in print without censorship by the government. According to the Law Phil Project, if a journalist wants to write an article, it must be a fair and true report of a judicial, legislative, or other official proceedings which are not of a confidential nature; it has to be made in good faith; also without any comments or remark. It seems as if newspapers are allowed to talk about whoever they want, and say whatever they want about anyone. Is this abuse of the 1st amendment, or is it just business?

Freedom to petition the government, according to Learning to Give, is the freedom to stand up and speak out against injustices they feel are occurring. It also gives people the right to do something about the injustice, and petition it. This specific part of the first amendment is different than all of the others, an action can only be taken if the petitioning group gets large enough. Petitioning the government would take place if someone wanted to impeach the president. If the crowd grew big enough and multiple people started to join then legal action could be taken to start impeachment of the president.

Now that four out of five pieces of the 1st amendment have been explained to you, what do you think about this?

On Sunday 24, 2017 the Pittsburg Steelers stayed in their locker room for the National Anthem before their game. A photo of Alejandro Villanueva (a Steelers player) standing for the National Anthem went viral on all social media. Online newspapers, famous celebrities, and people all over the world have shared this photo shaming the popular NFL team, while a not so dramatic photo wasn't shared by the public.

Photos from USA Today and Sports Illustrated

The photo on the right side is the photo that circulated through all media platforms. As a viewer, you cannot see a single player in the background. The two photos on the left clearly picture players. The media did not want the public to see this, is that abuse of the 1st amendment?

This photo was posted by the Bleacher Report on Twitter, but was soon removed.

As you can see here, the players are standing behind Villanueva paying their respect to the National Anthem, but for some teams, this isn't the case. Players from teams all over the NFL have chosen to kneel while the National Anthem is playing or being sung.

As I switch gears, let me propose this...

What these men are doing is entirely protected by the 1st amendment, but is it the right way to utilize said expressed freedoms?

The National Anthem represents the men and women who have died for us, and the ones who are serving. The United States military has fought for us to have these freedoms for decades. Brave men and women have died so we can live any lifestyle we choose, yet these men believe they are above that. These players assume that they are above all, and they disrespect our military while doing this.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe in, but not in this impolite, discourteous way. I understand that these men are trying to make a point, but being this ill-mannered is unacceptable. Being a United States citizen means so much, and one duty as a citizen is to take part in nationalism.

Stand up for our flag, or get out.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.


Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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The Critics Of Mac Miller's Relationship With Ariana Have It All Wrong

She isn't responsible for his death. You can't love away addiction.


Ariana Grande and Mac Miller had a long and loving relationship of two years, but their breakup is not what's responsible for his death.

His Illness is what lead him to his, what some may say, tragic death.

Miller isn't the first celebrity to die of an overdose there was Kurt Cobain and even Michael Jackson. What happened to these icons of music, wasn't because they were lonely or they didn't have anyone. What happened to every single one of drug overdoses gone wrong was a result of the mental illness of addiction taking over their life. Placing any sort of blame on someone close to the ones who've passed isn't only morally wrong but its detrimental to their healing process.

The first thing I noticed is that as soon as something happened to Mac Miller everyone was insanely quick to hop in Ariana's mentions and DMs. Why is the first response to a celebrities death to blame their ex and/or current girlfriend for an immense tragedy?

Well, this viewpoint is not new to women, women are supposed to take care of their significant other and that's the societal expectation. For one, it never was Ariana's job to assist Mac Miller into sobriety. She is not his psychiatrist nor is she his Addiction Anonymous sponsor. She did not "Leave him at his lowest" as some phrased it.

She left a relationship that she explicitly said was toxic and unhealthy for the both of them. Was he probably well into his addictive habits? Probably.

But she has every right to leave a partner whenever she doesn't feel the happy and healthy love necessary for a successful relationship. This type of narrative is what convinces other women that they should stay in relationships to try to "save" their partner in hopes that their love will solve their deeprooted problems, that are their mental illness: addiction. This is very dangerous and can lead women into abusive and toxic relationships that can damage their own mental health.

To add to that, before Mac Miller's death he had a radio interview about Ariana Grande's engagement. In the interview with Apple Music, he was very positive and happy for her.

Miller says "We worked through good times, bad times, stress, and everything else and then it came to an end and we moved on". In that statement he sounded calm and collected, and unphased by her moving on with her life.

Confirming all of the positive energy from Mac Miller to Ariana, he takes it even further in the interview to say he's happy for her.

Miller says "It's all positive energy. I'm happy for her in moving forward with her life"

On another note, we're doing Mac Miller a HUGE injustice by degrading his illness to be the fault of only love and relationships. Mental Illness doesn't go away when you're in love. When you're in love you just have another person to try their hardest to support you.

Even in the best situation, no one can cure an addiction that ran as deep as Mac Miller's, no one could've fixed that unless you were a licensed psychiatrist and even then it's hard to cure. We as a society refuse to acknowledge that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated as such. Sure, no one forced Mac to go on several drug and alcohol-related benders. Even so, he did not control how much his body was craving these drugs and the way the toxins took over his body and life.

Here's an example to help you understand why he couldn't "just quit" doing drugs of any sort.

Say you're on birth control to manage your periods (a drug) and you've been taking it consistently for five years. Now if someone just says "I'm sorry, these pills are harming your body, you can't take them anymore" and flushes them down the toilet, what happens? Your period will not be managed anymore and it may even cause side effects depending on the drug. In a similar way, if Mac quit cold turkey, there would not only be massive withdrawal symptoms but it would also throw his body out of wack because his body had adjusted to ingesting those toxins for so long, even though they were still harming him.

Addiction can stem back to many psychological disorders, none of which could ever have the simple solution of just having a significant other.

It might make them happy, but it won't solve the psychological issue or the mental illness so to speak. In order to fix a problem like this, he would have to have been very dedicated to becoming healthier and seeking help with his mental illness. It's common for most people not to seek help or feel dedicated to this sort of thing because it has a stigma of not actually being an illness and assumes the issue lies in the hands of the user's decision to start.

So, stop talking about his relationship with Ariana Grande and how she could've prevented it. Stop blaming his death on others or him.

Do, check on your friends and encourage the ones suffering to get the type of help they need.

Most of all, blast his music in your car or at your frat party (you're probably going to one anyway). That's how a legacy lives on in every one of his fans, so make him proud.

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